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3 Ridiculous (But Very Real) Attacks on Birth Control

3 Ridiculous (But Very Real) Attacks on Birth Control

Last month, Slate columnist William Saletan wrote a column claiming that despite reproductive rights advocates’ insistence to the contrary, most people who identify as pro-life really don’t want to eliminate birth control. “Pro-lifers don’t oppose birth control. They support it overwhelmingly. Three of every four people who regard abortion as morally wrong believe not just that you have a right to use contraception, but that using it is morally acceptable,” wrote Saletan. “That’s not my opinion. It’s a fact.”

Maybe that is a fact. The problem is that one out of four people who does believe contraception isn’t morally acceptable appears to be a lawmaker intent on writing policy to cut access off for everyone else.

The far right, knowing that birth control opposition played a huge role in their 2012 losses, has been trying repeatedly to revamp their image on the issue. It’s not birth control they oppose, they say, it’s just having to pay for it (despite the fact that it would be covered under insurance like any other health care service made a part of the plan you pay your own money to purchase). Or it’s not their own hang up over contraception, they just want to ensure that those who really oppose it — but not them, really! — don’t have their conscience rights trampled on.

It’s a front. The reality is, lawmakers, egged on by anti-choice constituents and religious leaders, want to end birth control access, and they’ll use any ploy they can think of. Here are examples from just this week:

1) Sean Hannity Says Pay for Your Own Birth Control and Adopt a Woman While Youre at It! According to Burnt Orange Report, the conservative talk show host was simply praising Mike Huckabee’s “women need to be liberated from their libidos and not expect Uncle Sugar to give them pills” Republican National Committee speech, but added a new ingenious twist. Not only should women continue to pay out of pocket separate from their insurance payments in order to get birth control, but they should also kick over some extra cash to cover poor women who can’t afford that, too. That’s a fantastic idea, Mr. Hannity. Someone should set up a program like that — oh, wait, President Nixon did and it was called Title X. The difference being that it was paid via a shared tax burden like all other beneficial government services.

2) All Your North Carolina GOP Senate Candidates Think Abortion Is Wrong, But Also That States Should Be Able to Restrict Birth Control, Too. It’s no longer enough to oppose abortion as a Republican candidate vying for a party nomination. Now, you have to be in favor of “personhood” bills that state life starts at the moment an egg is fertilized and must have all legal rights to life from that moment on. It’s a fairly terrifying thought when you consider how many who oppose abortion also believe that hormonal birth control in all forms, not just emergency contraception, is actually causing abortions. If a fertilized egg doesn’t implant, something that happens often in a regular menstrual regardless of if the person is actually using something to prevent pregnancy, they see that as an actual loss of life.

Of the four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for Senate, three believe that abortion should be banned in absolutely all cases, with only one candidate taking the “moderate” position that a rape victim should be allowed to abort or a pregnant person terminate a pregnancy if her health is in danger. But it’s the birth control stance that is the most radical. Every single one of them agreed that states should have the right to ban contraception if they chose to.

Ban contraception. Totally. Sure, they said they didn’t think a state should do it, but if it did, that’s 100 percent OK.

3) Virginia House Committee Votes Down Bill to Ensure Birth Control Access Cant Be Limited by Abortion Restrictions. It was such a simple bill. “‘Birth control’ means contraceptive methods that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Birth control shall not be considered abortion for the purposes of Title 18.2.” In other words, it was a bill stating that everyone agreed that birth control is not actually an abortion, and that whatever restrictions on abortion pass the legislature, contraception would remain untouched by them. It died in committee in a 4-3 vote.

Why would lawmakers be so adamant about killing a bill that simply protects access to contraception, and has no other purpose? There really isn’t any other possible answer except one. They don’t want to accidentally shut off a chance to ban access to birth control down the road.

Allegedly three out of four pro-lifers believe birth control is moral. Too bad none of them seem to be lawmakers.

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163 comments

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2:08PM PST on Feb 12, 2014

Birth control used by women doesn't just benefit of women so I don't know where some people get that notion it does.
This country is not broke. It was reported that the richest hold 40 trillion dollars in assets. Some of that could eat up our debt and these hoarders of money wouldn't even notice a change in lifestyle.

7:03PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

So true Robert.

In fact, they have been Borrowing against (AND NOT repaying) against the general fund for decades.

Democrats included.

7:01PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

And here’s one of the major problems Charlene. It is about male POWER & CONTROL over women. Our culture is based on a couple thousand years of that kind of thinking. It didn’t necessarily start with the source I am about to mention, but pervades our society with its ideology. It claims on one hand that it is necessary to instill morals in people, and that without it we would all be behaving immorally.

Our society, was based on it even though our constitution tried to make a new start tearing away from the European model. It is the bible of the Abrahamic traditions. Their texts, old and new, said slavery was okay, you just had to be good in some ways to your slaves. It said that man came first and woman was added as an afterthought to be a helpmeet to man and to serve him. Our children are still being indoctrinated with this evil message.

Your messages about Mary, and the Magdalene are spot on. Those myths were created, distorted and perverted and weren’t even part of the real story. There is a Latin phrase telling the reader to beware the person with one book.

To move forward we have to ditch this set of morals and its book set up to keep men in power.

5:54PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

Martha F.:
No, in fact, health insurance does not cover male enhancement drugs.
Needless to say, the pharmaceutical industry has been pushing for their coverage.
Don't you wonder why they aren't pushing for birth control coverage for women?
Could it be, that males are in charge of this industry?
How much you wanna bet?

5:41PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

While this article is most enlightening, it really doesn't get to the heart of the issue.

Birth control, as well as abortion, is clearly and simply about male POWER & CONTROL over women. It always has been.
As I've said before and will say again, if men were able to become pregnant, carry a fetus, and deliver a baby, there would be NO conversation on this subject.

As our 'insecure' male population in the conservative right, sees _the old white boys club_ being infiltrated by women and minorities, they think they need to express themselves with laws and regulations to put women BACK IN THEIR PLACE. After they hypothetically reach this goal, they will work on men they feel are _not one of us_.
Gee, I wonder what that means.
This has been going on forever. It never ends.

Just look how the Catholic Church insists on Mary (Mother of Christ) being a virgin; Mary Magdalene had to be a prostitute, not the wife of Jesus.
Religions have denigrated women since their inception, and the only reason they get away with it, is because we (Women) permit it.

Birth control and abortion are just a 'means to an end', and the sooner all women face reality, the better will be the world, for us all.
I call no men, friends, who have this superior attitude.

Thank goodness for the strong and intelligent men on this site.

2:15PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

really ridiculous!

1:07PM PST on Feb 11, 2014

idiots

10:56AM PST on Feb 11, 2014

well scott then the government should have been p,lanning for that eventuality isntead of kicking the can down the road by putting SS in the general fund and otrher things. THey have known for a VERY long time the baby boomer would eventually retire. They did NOTHING to plan for it. Instead they did everything they could to entirch the military industrial complex and huge corporations.

9:30AM PST on Feb 11, 2014

There has always been an emphasis in the medical community on MALE health concerns. I know for a fact that:
1 - Male "enhancement" ie devices to permit erections in impotent men, were covered by health benefits in Canada but prosthetic breasts, which were not terribly expensive, were not covered for mastectomy patients. Slight bias. OMG, the dick MUST work!
2 - Drugs were, for years, studied primarily on men in spite of the fact that women require different dosages & metabolize most drugs differently. They also can have adverse effects on women while having positive effects on men.
3 - I witnessed first hand that many women's complaints were treated as hypochondria until they showed up dead. Women had different symptoms for cardiac events & were often dismissed. The drugs used to treat them once diagnosed also acted differently on many women. After all, only men had coronaries, that is until medicinal professionals discovered that the susceptibility for such problems equilibrated after menopause.
4 - Women were often much more stoic regarding pain that was manifested by serious illnesses.
5 - As stated here by so many in numerous ways, when a man can shove a ten pin bowling ball out of his ass, then he can comprehend the importance of freedom of women's choice.

9:00AM PST on Feb 11, 2014

Cosmic....where did you get your medical degree?

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